Buffalo Lighthouse - Table of Contents

Buffalo Lighthouse
Coast Guard Base across from the Erie Basin Marina


Restored 1961


Ashlar limestone and bluestone


Chinaman's Light

Click on illustrations for larger size



"Milk Bottle" light

68 feet tall.




To the nineteenth-century Great lakes mariners, the lighthouse was known as "Chinaman's Light"

Lighthouse in official seal of Buffalo

Drawing: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record


Buffalo Lighthouse #1: The first lighthouse was financed by Oliver Forward and completed in 1818. It stood closer to shore.

#2: Pictured above is Buffalo's second lighthouse. It was built in 1833, it is the oldest building on Buffalo's waterfront and one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. The base, up to the cornice, dates from 1833, while everything above it dates from 1857.

#3: In 1914 the lens was taken from this tower to one built just behind the outer harbor breakwater. The breakwater light then became the principal, or third, Buffalo light.

#4: A fourth light, a 71-foot white tower on the breakwater itself, has been the main light since 1963.


Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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